Sakaja alleges rigging plot in Nairobi

Johnson Sakaja

UDA party's Nairobi governor candidate Johnson Sakaja.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

Nairobi gubernatorial candidate Johnson Sakaja has claimed there is a plot to rig the August 9 elections in the capital in favour of Azimio candidates. The outgoing Senator alleged a meeting was held at a Nairobi hotel last week involving all county administration, including chiefs and county commanders, where the plan was hatched.

According to the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party candidate, the government officials were instructed to collect national identity cards from citizens and pay then a fee with intention of voter suppression in UDA strongholds within Nairobi County. Mr Sakaja accused the ministry of Interior of being behind the election interference and rigging plans in Nairobi.

“Chiefs should keep off election process. Your work is to provide security and ensure Kenyans are receiving services from the national government, stop being used to interfere with elections,” Mr Sakaja said.

He was speaking after attending a church service at St. Francis Catholic Church in Kasarani where he was accompanied by other Kenya Kwanza Nairobi candidates.

Mr Sakaja alleged there are some national government offices being used to intimidate the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) from performing their constitutional duties and delaying the election process.

“Why is the IEBC being bullied? This is an abuse of his office and we shall not tolerate any interference to the election process by anyone,” he said.

Matatu sector

Meanwhile, Mr Sakaja committed to work together the Nairobi matatu sector to end perennial traffic congestion bedevilling the city should he be elected. This followed a meeting with Nairobi matatu operators who asked him to help bring an end to congestion in the city, impounding of their vehicles and streamline taxes they are forced to pay. The operators also urged that Nairobi traffic marshals wear distinct uniform from other county askaris to end constant harassment by different officers.

“The issue of impounding of vehicles is the worst. The aim is to tow the matatu, which can as well be driven, to the yard so that numerous fines and levies are extracted from the operators,” said operator Sam Kago from Mwiki.

Peter Kinyua from ROG matatu sacco added that a lot of congestion is also caused by vehicles operating upcountry routes that are sometimes parked in the CBD for several days.

"Those are the ones that should be locked out of the city center,” said Mr Kinyua.

The operators also suggested that the cost of seasonal tickets should be reduced, and that those vehicles that do not come to the city centre should be charged less.

For his part, Mr Sakaja acknowledged that most of the money from season tickets and impounding of vehicles is lost through leakage, according to the county government’s financial reports.

He promised to try out the collaborative management of stages and implement it if it proves to be sustainable.

“Impounding vehicles does not make sense. We need to reorient how we do our work so that the county government makes money and you too make a profit in an orderly environment,” Mr Sakaja said.

The Senator said his government will implement a matatu information management system in which all matatu saccos can access and update information on their vehicles, and even pay for their licenses online.

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